Just try to read an editorial or feature piece on education, via any media outlet at all, without coming across a commenter who wants to righteously and indignantly toss all the problems--from low test scores to Security Guards Run Amok--back into parents' laps. It's as if the rest of American society didn't exist. As if grinding poverty, political corruption, greed, cultural debasement and racism had nothing to do with the so-called failings of students and their families. Let's blame the parents.
Recently in democratic classroom Category
October 29, 2015
October 14, 2015
I am in full agreement that we would be better off if people across the spectrum in Ed World started with a vision of what public education could be, rather than going for the next big win, as is our habit in matters of public policy. But. I spent 30 years in the classroom, serving as test subject for high-flown political rhetoric and ill-advised policy. The idea of a "personalized, relevant, and real-world-situated" classroom for every child is not even close to new.
September 07, 2015
Education is not simply about constructing efficient delivery systems for the transfer of information--books and computers can do that. Education is about the building of relationships--between students and teachers, and among learners themselves. And schools, in all of their messy, noisy, confusing chaos, do this spectacularly well.
August 03, 2015
For all teachers who say they have only one rule--which might be something like "Respect all people and things" or "Think before you act"--I have this comment: You can't mandate kindness and consideration through rules. You may, however, have some success via doggedly modeling these qualities, over time. You'll have the most success by genuinely liking your students and demonstrating authentic warmth.